Monday, March 04, 2013

Audiobook Adventures: Week 7

So, I finished editing (and uploading) all of the first book I read for Audible.  It was seventeen chapters long, and the total audio ended up being four hours and ten minutes.

That's not too shabby, really, and reading it through, I never felt that it was insanely long or anything.  In addition to the whole of the book, I'm also to record opening and closing titles, and am to include a five minute sample of each book that potential buyers can listen to to decide if it's up their alley.

This is actually a bit of a creative choice on my part, the last of the creative choices I can make, I suppose, in addition to voices, pace, accents, volume, and interpretation of description and dialogue.  To choose five minutes that best typifies the work is more challenging than I anticipated, and for the two I've done, I've had to edit a six or seven minute section down, to provide a five minute segment I feel confident in. 

It was with relief that I quickly got a response from the rights owner (the author, in this and most cases) saying that it was good enough, and required no further changes.  Actually, he said I'd done an excellent job, but I only hear the negative as y'all know, and that he had accepted it for final approval.

I'm not really sure what that entails, probably someone who listens to a sample, or puts it through their machines, to determine if it's up to snuff.  If so, it will be out there for sale at some point in the future.  I'll make sure to plug it when it becomes available.
It was a bit of a load off to be finished with one of these things and go on to the next step.  The first piece I completed was for pay up front, so I'll never know how well it does, but this one was for royalty-share, so my hope is that a bunch of people buy it and enjoy my performance.

I still have several projects in various states of completion.  Most daunting is a Horror novel that has been so slow going, I think I've only got a quarter of it recorded, and that in half of the time before the deadline.  I initially jotted down the typos and mistakes as I found them, to forward them to the author, but after filling a second page, I no longer bother.  I tremble at the thought of the March 31st deadline on that one.

Another short story I sat down and recorded from beginning to end as soon as I got the contract.  This was a mistake, I discovered, as the author had a laundry list of changes she wanted made, some as minor as an extra word in a sentence, but some as major as a character sounding too young and needing to be revoiced.  Next time, wait for approval of the first fifteen minutes before narrating the whole bloody thing.

I made a list of my projects and their deadlines and stuck it to my computer monitor.  The next dude date is for the first short story I was ever contracted to do, and should have been completed long ago.  It is also the project I've talked about most, since I've been dealing with the author's agent the whole time, and she's been harder to please than most.  Of course, that has forced me to improve my recording behavior, sound levels, my editing technique, and basically raise the bar for everything I currently do.*

Unfortunately, I sort of made a pact with Big to write every day this month (or at least see who could write the most days in a row this month), and that has derailed my audiobook work a bit.  Now, when I get tired and realize it's time for bed, I force myself to write a little bit before retiring, whereas last month, I'd force myself to record or edit.

I think I'll post this right now, though, and get to work editing something, before it gets too late.

Rish Outfield, Audiobook Narrator

*Well, except for That Gets My Goat.  No one gives a fig about that.

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